(This is a stripped-down version of the news letters sent out to members of Codeberg e.V. – not member of the non-profit association yet? Consider joining it!)
Dear Codeberg e.V. Members and supporters!
We wish you all the best for 2024, including maximum success with your projects! Let's have a look at relevant news from our side.
- We will be at FOSDEM 2024 with our stand - meet us if you are there and get your Codeberg/Forgejo stickers! (Details)
- Forgejo was updated mid December. We initially faced performance regressions, but they were hot-patched by the awesome team, thanks!
Codeberg e.V. has 429 members in total, these are 296 members with active voting rights, 126 supporting members and 7 honorary members.
Sustaining Human Workforce
In the Free Software world, being able to compensate contributors for their work is often cited as the most important problem. Some people might even think that it is simply not possible to build an utopian world where all software is free without starving their creators.
We believe that a world with only Free Software is a better world, and we're proud to share that we made progress to support the humans behind it.
The path is not always easy, insurance requirements, bookkeeping, international taxes and contracts are sometimes overwhelming. But we're learning and improving, and sustaining human workforce as our most important driver is among our highest priorities for 2024.
To iterate the journey:
- In 2022, we started with a "Minijob" (German format for low wage / working hours and reduced tax/insurance requirements) for a Codeberg member, Gitea and Woodpecker maintainer, but the bookkeeping overhead was still very high.
- We started to pay voluntary effort compensations (tax-free for German citizens) to four contributors to upstream projects or system maintenance at Codeberg, and we are looking to extend it.
- And the most recent step: We hired algernon who is doing freelance work in Forgejo, and we're more than happy with his work: Long-standing issues are now finally resolved, and the progress feels like a rocket booster. Details are logged in the Forgejo sustainability repository
It must be noted that this progress comes with its costs. Paying a few hours of precious time equals to paying server rent for a month. Buying new drives is cheap compared to getting a proper feature implemented. We believe it is the right way, and if you think so too, we kindly ask you to consider a or increasing your donation to Codeberg e.V..
DDoS and Malware
The new year's start brought a big bag of bad surprise. On January 11, we suddenly saw networking to our servers disappear. We have out-of-bands-access via a VPN managed by our provider, but although we were able to connect, the connection was too unreliable to do anything useful with our server.
During a brief moment of working access, we were able to observe an inrush of network traffic that filled all our uplink capacity – and that of our provider, too.
By now, we are convinced that the DDoS attack on our infrastructure was either related to us sending our thoughts to SourceHut who were struggling with a DDoS at this time, or the fact that the SourceHut status site was hosted using Codeberg Pages at this time. Only speculation, though.
Luckily, the awesome team of our provider managed to lock down IPv4 traffic and restore IPv6 access. We repurposed a virtual cloud server with spare capacity to act as a proxy to restore access as soon as possible.
After the situation calmed down, the measures were reverted to reduce latency and transient network errors due to the workaround. However, we are considering steps to reduce response time to such incidents in the future. If you have experience with L3 networking and some free time, feel free to reach out!
When our awesome users were able to use Codeberg again, so returned the abuse. Malware uploads are on the rise again and we monitoring access logs to detect potentially abusive files. It makes us happy when we manage to take down malicious files e.g. 8 minutes after their upload and with only a few total downloads. However, we acknowledge that there is still a lot to improve to deal with this first-publications. Since we are very close to the source of malware distribution, detection rate of virus scanners is often still low. If you are curious about malware on Codeberg, feel free to get in touch and participate in the hunting!
Your contribution in 2024
Can you afford some free cycles for Codeberg this year? This would be great! We're continuously looking for maintainers and contributors to the software used and produced by Codeberg.
Forgejo is the core of Codeberg, and your contribution will have high impact. Do you have experience with frontend development, UI/UX, or help with user research? Get involved!
Our Weblate instance could need some more love. It is maintained with remarkable commitment by a single person at the moment, but there's always work to do. Help users, maintain the installation or contribute to the Python codebase and User Interface, any of this would be appreciated.
Also make sure to check out Contributing to Codeberg as the central place for coordinating contributions to our different teams and projects.
Last but not least, we always require help within our non-profit association itself. User support, office tasks and bookkeeping, decision-making and governance: Consider joining Codeberg e.V. if not already done, and get in touch to run for various offices during our annual assembly. The work within the non-profit association makes our platform possible.
Community Spotlight: Host it Yourself!
Having software that is easy to self-host is a crucial part of a decentralized and independent web. It allows people to run their own stack on machines they trust, and it allows admins who share their infrastructure with others to focus on important tasks instead of maintenance.
In the following, we'd like to present some promising solutions that are developed on Codeberg.
For nearly three years, Simon is working on faircamp, a static site generator that is made for you if you are looking for a way to publish your music as a website. Packed with a nice design and all features you know from existing (mostly proprietary) options for this task, faircamp is already trusted by numerous music producers and artists. Due to the nature of a static site generator, it doesn't enforce a paywall. A caveat for some, it makes the tool ideal for people who publish the download under a free/libre license and hope for optional donations in return.
What do you do with things you do no longer need? Mention it on your blog in the hope someone finds it by coincidence? Feel pressured to still use ebay for the job? No longer: Self-host flohmarkt (German for flea market) for the job, an ActivityPub-based federated small trade platform. With the active development being less than a year old, you should expect some unfinished touches. We're curious how the project looks like by the end of the year, and with the contributors all the best!
For our users that work within education, we recommend having a look at learntools. It allows to replace commonly used proprietary solutions in schools with a privacy-respecting digital classroom suite. The contributors communicate in German, but the English documentation should be good enough for your setup, and the interface is available in some other languages, too. The project is under development for five years already, and we wish the developers all the best for their current priority: migrating to Vue 3.
If you haven't done this already, let us know about your plans for the year via the Fediverse and explore the projects and goals other Codeberg users are up to. No matter how small or huge, we wish you all the best for your milestones in 2024.
Your Codeberg team
Codeberg e.V. – Arminiusstraße 2 - 4 – 10551 Berlin – Germany
Registered at registration court Amtsgericht Charlottenburg VR36929.